Sex in the syllabus

Time magazine is running a story entitled Sex in the Syllabus that includes quite a bit on my course “Cyberporn & Society.” It begins:

With classwork like this, who needs to play? Undergraduates taking Cyberporn and Society at the State University of New York at Buffalo survey Internet porn sites. At New York University, assignments for Anthropology of the Unconscious include discussing X-rated Japanese comic books. And in Cinema and the Sex Act at the University of California, Berkeley, undergrads are required to view clips from Hollywood NC-17 releases like Showgirls and underground stag reels.

It’s called the porn curriculum, and it’s quietly taking root in the ivory tower. A small but growing number of scholars are probing the aesthetic, societal and philosophical properties of smut in academic departments ranging from literature to film, law to technology, anthropology to women’s studies…

Luckily, nothing to scare my current (at least for the next couple months) institution. It includes quotes from a student in the class (Mr. Schwartz) and his parents, as well as Dean Penniman from the School of Informatics.

Update: When I taught this course for the first time, I suggested turning it into a three course sequence: sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll. I find that David Silver is now teaching a course with that title at UWashington. How cool is that?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Posted 3/26/2006 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Dude! I’m in Time Mag…lol.

  2. Posted 3/26/2006 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    You guys get all the fun. I always wanted to take Eisner’s notions of curriculum (hidden/explicit/null) and the curriculum into the gutter, literally… what learnings are involved in being a successful (i.e. not dead) heroin addict, etc.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>